How I Get Hundreds of Shares On Every Blog Post
As of today…my blog is five months old! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BLOGGY BLOG!!!!! I’ve written about SEO (oh love of my life), Social Media, Organizing Your Small Business, Writing the Perfect Blog Post…and more!!!
What I HAVEN’T talked about, is my behind the scenes process for getting shares on social media! Over 300 shares on every blog post, to be exact. Sure…likes are nice and comments are ego stroking…but SHARES….SHARES are where the value is! With every share you get on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, StumbleUpon (and all the other thousands of platforms out there), your potential to reach a new audience, increase sign ups, and make more sales… increases ten fold! (It might be 11 fold…I haven’t done the math.)
First, I want to talk about the two different kinds of shares that we will be focusing on as well as why they are both important to a beginning blog.
Share for Share…and Organic Shares
Share for Share - In the beginning, you are working to build your perfect audience base…and share for share is LITERALLY the equivalent of going door to door handing out business cards. It is time consuming and USUALLY doesn’t have a huge return. (Just being honest here!!) BUT, I am a HUGE believer in working your ass off in the beginning towards a more automated process later! In month five of my small business blog…I’m starting to wean off of this type of forced traffic…but it’s been a GINORMOUS help in building up a substantial, repeat visitor base…so the need to ASK for shares is starting to diminish. Below, in the list of 10 post, I’ll show you a few methods about how I used this type of share process to pick up speed in my own posts! (I’ll even provide you with a download of my own personal posting schedule with links to a TON of Facebook Groups!)
TIME FOR THE STEPS YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR!!!
I know you might roll your eyes and think “DUH!!!! I know a need an epic title, kick ass content and useful downloads!! What is the purpose of reading this post??”
Just read the damn post…*sigh*
STEP 1: My Title Formula
I KNOW you know the importance of creating an eye catching title for your post…but are you REALLY doing it? Do you spend more time on your title than you do your content?
Because you SHOULD be…
These are the steps I take for EVERY title I come up with on my blog posts. Each one is JUST as important as the other…so make sure you are tackling each one with individual importance. And don’t forget to download the checklist to use on your own posts!!
- Step 1: Write your post. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve started writing a post, only to have it change directions mid way through!! What I thought would be a post about Keyword optimization, turned into a post about Keyword Placement. So why spend a ton of time writing a post title you won’t use? In addition to this, I’ve found that my long tailed keywords are best developed while I write…and if you’ve read my post on keywords, you’ll know they are an integral part of your title!!
- Step 2: Write down the EXACT problem your blog post is solving. After you’ve written your post, write down EVERY problem your post solves for the reader. Sometimes you will have 10 related problems that your post helps to fix…and sometimes you’ll have one HUGE problem that you tackle. Either way, by telling your reader how you’ll be helping to solve THEIR problem, you’ll get so much traffic you’ll have to build a Blogging Underground to manage it! 0_0
- Step 3: Analyze your title’s emotion. What emotion does your title evoke? I don’t mean emotion as in, “Grab your tissues ladies. Shits about to get Notebooky.” Your title SHOULD be creating a feeling of “need”, “want”, “curiosity” or “excitement”. A title like “Our Family Vacation to Prague” isn’t going to do a FRACTION as well as “How We Took a Family of Four to Prague on Under $700”. That second one creates a sense of “needing a unique vacation”, “Wanting to get out of town”, “Curiosity about HOW the hell they got so far so cheaply” and “Excitement that you could do that too!”
- Step 4: Come up with AT LEAST two different titles that meet the above criteria! This will come in handy during one of the future steps we are going to tackle in a bit…but creating an A/B testing system for your title is a must!! THIS is the step that will send most of the traffic headed your way! Create a list of 2-3 titles that evoke emotion in your reader, and you’ll be able to keep track of which type of title converts the best with your audience!
STEP 2: Write Amazing Content in an Amazing Voice
This one REALLY is a “DUH” statement. I’ve been writing professionally for over 10 years…and if it’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the quickest way to learn how to write in a way that catches attention, is to write as often as is humanly possible. If you are still developing your voice, one of my FAVORITE exercises is to read your posts out loud. Write in a conversational tone and read your post to your imaginary audience (or your dog…that’s what I do). This does TWO things…1) It helps you spot any spelling, grammar and missing words in your text and 2) It helps you spot sentences and phrases that don’t sound like…well…you!
Don’t be afraid to give your BEST content to your readers. Don’t hold back!! Make sure you are giving away content that you could EASILY put a price tag on. Your goal right now, should be to gain followers and fans and SLOWLY start to turn those fans into customers. Giving amazing content from the beginning will help you to develop your business, so that any products you offer will be shown to an audience that already trust and adore you!
STEP 3: Create Downloads That Readers NEED
STOP WASTING YOUR READERS’ TIME!!!! For goodness sake. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again! Your reader is INCREDIBLY intelligent…so stop pretending like you can pull the wool over their eyes with downloads like “A List of 30 WordPress Plugins”. First off…this is something they can get on EVERY blog about blogging!! What makes yours so special?
Instead…create a worksheet that will help them (REALLY HELP THEM) streamline the solution you are already giving them!! Lists are great…but they HAVE to solve problems!! For example, in this post, I’m providing a list of everything we are talking about here!! That way, when you go to create and promote your next post, you can refer to the abbreviated checklist instead of referring back to a 3,422 word blog post!
STEP 4: Create Pretty and Branded Primary Images
People LOVE pretty things!! People TRUST pretty things. A great example of this is Pinterest. Take a look at the pins you’ve pinned recently (or if you’re not a pinner…find a pinner in your industry and take a look at what THEY’VE pinned recently!). How do the pins with the highest number of re-pins compare aesthetically to the pins that have only been pinned a handful of times.
Which image below would urge you to click, share or read?
Your pins should be branded, clean, and easily recognizable. Trust me…this is not as easy as it sounds!!! I recommend signing up for a free Canva account, if you haven’t already, and using one of their pre-made templates! You can tweak the fonts, color pallets and photos to make them more personal to your blog’s style! This also makes it SUPER easy to make sure all of your pins look great together.
Here are few tips to keep things cohesive:
- Pick a color pallet of NO MORE than 5 colors. I actually recommend 4…but I’ve always felt the need to squeeze in that fifth for some reason.
- Make sure your font is readable. NO UGLY CURSIVE OR HANDWRITTEN CRAP!!! It looks cheap and does NOT help your trustability factor.
- Make sure your font colors don’t make it difficult to read. I love neon pink as much as the next person…but it can be difficult to read in certain circumstances!! Make sure your colors stand out…but don’t give pinners a headache.
- Use a lot of negative space. For some reason, TALL pins with a lot of negative space around the text get more repins! Trust me…I’ve tried it both ways. I believe it makes your pins look more expensive to the reader. They look clean and branded…which means your post will probably be clean and branded as well!
- Use gorgeous imagery. I love using images in my pins!! Make sure your images are relevant to your post, and represent the personality of your writing. I actually use a transparent square tile on my pins, so that my font is easily readable and the image is still visible. My favorite go-to’s for free imagery are Unsplash.com and Gratisography.com. They have a great mixture of weird and beautiful imagery that match my writing style and what my readers will expect!
STEP 5: Make Your Posts EASILY Shareable
I, personally, am in love with the Social Warfare app**!! No…it isn’t free, but for $24 a year and a CRAZY increase in traffic…it’s worth it’s weight in bitcoins! See that pink bar at the bottom of this post? That aint just any social share bar! Here’s why:
- It’s customizable and branded to my blog and style. I know that doesn’t sound like much…but it DOES help increase trust with my customer. I’ve spent time on my blog…working to make it beautiful to any reader to happens upon it. The fact that my social share bar is unique helps my readers see that I care about the way my site is portrayed.
- My BIGGEST plus with this bar has been the ability to pre-design and pre-write what my customers will be sharing and pinning! For every post I put up, I pre-write the Facebook text and the tweets. On top of that…I pre-write my pins. <- SUPER IMPORTANT! For those of you who DON’T know…Pinterest uses an algorithm VERY similar to Google. It bases the validity of pins in it’s search engine on keywords, clicks…and even colors. So, if I pre-write a pin’s description as WELL as use a branded image that has been optimized to fit my business (with keywords in the image’s URL) every time my blog post gets pinned…it increases my chances of being shown in searches!! (Take a look at the stats in the bars of my other posts! Pinterest is my number one method for being found!)
STEP 6: Pinterest Groups
As I said above, Pinterest is my number one traffic generator currently…with organic SEO traffic and Facebook trailing close behind in second and third place. Immediately, after I’ve hit that “Publish” button, I scroll down to the bottom of the post and click the “Pin” button in my Social Warfare app. From there, I add the Pin to every personal board of mine that is relevant.
Here’s where the process gets CRAZY sweet!! I use a company called “Boardbooster” and their service of “scheduling”**. What scheduling does, is pull pins from a certain board (I have a board specific to Uncork Your Dork blog posts) and pin them directly to group boards! This increases the views on my pins by a seriously amazing amount!! Instead of a PORTION my audience of 3,000 seeing the pins…my audience PLUS the audiences of about 300 other pinners get to see the pin! The majority of my re-pins (including my viral pins!) have been re-pinned by fellow group members!!
STEP 7: Multiple Pinterest Images
Another SUPER important method I use in Pinterest (we touched on this one a bit above) is to create an A/B…and even C testing method for your pins!! Create 2-3 additional pins for your posts. Be sure to get creative and mix up the titles as well as the format.
Take a look at this example. I created two branded pins, with two different titles for the same post. One received nearly 200 re-pins while the other received over 400!! That’s nearly 600 re-pins for a post that I WOULD have only had 200 for…had I not created two pins.
This method allows you to see what titles are working best for your post…and which one’s are creating the most interest with your readers!
**Bonus Tip** I create pins for EVERYTHING!!!!! Every free download I create has it’s own pin image, as well as every article, every post, every event, etc. Don’t be afraid to go a little pin happy with your blog!! Just use a company like Boardbooster** to schedule your pins so that your followers are not getting spammed.
STEP 8: SEO
Holy hell…this post is SO LONG!!!! I didn’t know I had this much to say!! (I smell an email challenge headed your way!!! 😀 )
Alrighty guys…if you’ve hung around on this blog long enough, you know about my love for all things SEO. Right now, as a five month old baby blog (baby as in age…not baby as in I write about babies…I don’t know anything about babies. Babies scare me.), Pinterest is my number one source of traffic (using SEO in their search engine is a must!). Organic Google Searches are my second highest source.
SEO takes time. It’s NOT something you can implement and see results for overnight. (Well..in MOST cases! If you write a post about a specific company…there is a good chance you’ll be ranking in only a few days!) You HAVE to build trust with Google! They are a fickle little animal. If you don’t rub their belly and feed them bacon treats, they tend to stay about a 10 foot distance from you. On average, if you’re working at it with every piece of content you put up, you can start to see organic results from Google within about 15-30 days.
So WHY do I recommend learning SEO when you have Pinterest? First off…I’ll say it one more time…PINTEREST USES SEO!!! (Actually, one of the theories is that optimized pins that come from a well optimized blog post tend to rank higher than an optimized pin that comes from a non-optimized post!)
Secondly, social media is fickle. What is popular one day…WON’T be popular the next!! I am damn well determined to make sure that the DAY Pinterest dies…is the day my Google Search rankings take over in traffic!
Thirdly…SEO is not just the art of increasing your traffic. It’s the art of being found by the RIGHT customer at the EXACT moment of their need! Think about how YOU use Google! I’ll bet my monthly income, that you use Google when you are looking to solve a problem. Sometimes that problem involves reading an article…and SOMETIMES it involves buying a product! BUT…what never changes is the fact that Google is a problem solver. It suggests solutions 3 billion times a day to searchers all over the world. How would it feel to be recommended by Google as a top solution to your ideal customer’s problem?
Ready to get into the nitty gritty of SEO? Check out the SEO Rookie Course!! It’s 21 Days of intense SEO training to get your old (and new) posts up to Google speed!!
STEP 9: Facebook Groups
This…ladies and gents…is a trap! (As General Ackbar once famously said.) Look…I LURVES me some Facebook Groupin’. But there are SO many ways to use it wrong!! Plus…the t\ime suck, people!! THE TIIIIIIIME SUUUUUUUUCK!!!!
Facebook Groups are GREAT for creating forced traffic and shares to your posts!
Here are few rules that I have for posting in Facebook Groups + the Facebook Group Calendar Download that we’ve discussed!
- Keep your target market in mind. There are groups out there for Etsy sellers…business bloggers…mom bloggers…you name it!! Join groups that will relate DIRECTLY to your reader. The groups I’m going to share with you are generic, but add more to your list that will pull in forever fans and readers specific to your niche.
- Do NOT do share for share!!! Only post in threads that will give you a high ROI (return on investment) and develop relationships with your readers. What do I mean? I don’t post in EVERY thread everyday!! I focus on my blog posts…and posting direct links to them. I ALSO focus on Pinterest!! If there is a Pinterest thread (or StumbleUpon for that matter), I’ll be sure to post a link directly to my chosen posts pin! These are medias that I know my target market hangs out on, and I want to promote more than anything else.
- Set a time limit and make it a habit. Oh MAN, I can’t stress this one enough!!! I spend EVERY MORNING, from 11-12, posting and participating in Facebook Groups. The second my alarm goes off at 12…I’m done with that for the day. If I’m not done? If I got distract? Tough nuts! I’ve lost out on a few extra eyeballs that day. Setting a time limit and making your Facebook posting a habit ensures you are ONLY posting in groups that give you the best return on your investment! You learn REALLY quick which threads are a waste of your time, PLUS, you’re less likely to spend 20 minutes reading some other blog post on making the perfect borscht.
- Dedicate a post a day. I post ONE blog post a week…which gives me the ability to spend my hour of Facebook a day focused on promoting ONE blog post!! You’ll see the most success if you laser focus your marketing. Generally, I’ll focus the entire week on one post…but if I see another (usually older) post that needs a lil’ TLC, I schedule it in for the next day.
- Participate. Don’t be a lazy ass!!!! Participate!! If the thread asks you to comment on three other blogs…do it. If a thread asks you to comment on SIXTY other blogs, perhaps it’s best if you don’t participate in that thread. AGAIN, make sure you are assessing the time you spend on a task vs. what you’ll be getting out of it!!
STEP 10: Time and Focus
LAST ONE AND IT’S A DOOZY!! Time and focus people!! I’m sure you’ve read the hundreds of posts out there that talk about “Getting 300 Billion Views in a Month” and “Making $40,000 With My Last Launch”. First off…they are ridiculous. GREAT for dreaming…GREAT for setting goals…but ridiculous when it comes to comparing your progress to theirs. Success, traffic and sales DO take time, hard work and dedication!!
These posts have GREAT advice and motivation factor…but to compare your sales to theirs is a WONDERFUL way to shoot yourself in the foot.
Set goals…REALISTIC GOALS NOT BASED ON OTHER BLOGS’ SUCCESS…and really work towards those! If you have 200 people on your list, make a goal to have 300 in 30 days (or whatever seems appropriate for the current growth of your reader base).
I’m not saying those $40,000 launches aren’t attainable…I’m simply saying you need to recognize that JUST because you aren’t seeing those numbers, doesn’t mean you WON’T!! You need to climb the ladder slowly…and set yourself up for that success.
Okee dokee artichokies!!!! I think that’s all for this week’s post!!!! My eyes are starting to cross and I’m feening for the new season of Elementary that just popped up on my Hulu screen….
JONNY LEE MILLER I WANT TO MARRY YOU!!!!!!!
Don’t forget your downloads…and start implementing these methods into your weekly blogging routine! As usual, be sure to post your questions, progress or suggestions into the comments area below. I’d love to hear what you have to say!
Peace out, trouts!
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